We all want rock-hard abs, but if we were to prioritize our fitness efforts in terms of practicality, arms would have to take the top spot. We called in John Rowley, certified trainer, to give us five exercises guaranteed to get you toned arms.
Sit on the edge of a (sturdy) chair with your feet together. Place your hands on the seat on either side of your thighs, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Bend your elbows 90 degrees, and slowly lower yourself toward the floor. Straighten your arms, really pushing through your palms to raise your body back to the start position.
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Overhead triceps extension
Works: triceps, shoulders, and back
Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart, holding one dumbbell with both hands with elbows bent and arms behind your head. Straighten your arms to lift the dumbbell into the air, and then slowly bend the arms to lower. Since your triceps are a smaller muscle group, start three-pound weights and work your way up if you can handle more weight.
Bent-over reverse fly
Works: back and shoulders
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with the knees slightly bent. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the hip joint. Exhale and lift both arms out to the side, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower the dumbbells back toward the ground in a controlled manner.
Biceps curl and shoulder press
Works: biceps and shoulders
Stand with your feet directly under your hips, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend the elbows, bringing the weights to your shoulders – performing a biceps curl. Keep your arms moving upward, straightening the arms above you, performing an overhead press. Bend the elbows, coming back to the end of your biceps curl, and then straighten the arms, coming back to the starting position to complete one rep. For exercises that work your back, you can increase the weight.
Lateral arm raise
Stand with your feet hip distance apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Start with the right side first. With control, keep your arm straight (but don’t lock the elbow), and raise your right hand up toward the ceiling. You want your arm to be parallel to the floor. Slowly lower your hand back to your body. Do the same move with your left arm. Then do both your right and left arms at the same time.